Singapore’s Health Minister Gan Kim Yong pointed out on Sunday (5 April) that the Singapore Expo Convention Hall and Exhibition Centre is in the midst of being transformed into a caring facility for recovering COVID-19 patients in the country.
Mr Gan said this in a press conference conducted by the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force on Sunday in relation to the outbreak in Singapore.
Upon the completion of the preparation work at Singapore Expo, that premise will become the second “community care” facility for COVID-19 patients, after the D’Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris.
The Health Minister added that this is done to make sure that there will be continued capacity to house and treat patients who are suffering from the deadly novel coronavirus at the acute care hospitals.
Mr Gan explained in the press conference that in the future, it would be possible that patients who are suffering from mild symptoms could be sent to the community care facilities to be monitored, and will only be brought to the hospital “if necessary”.
“For patients with mild symptoms, generally they don’t need any medical support. In fact, they can actually recover and be cared for in these facilities until they are well and can be discharged, without having to go to the hospitals,” Mr Gan explained.
However, the Minister did not reveal when the community care facility at Singapore Expo will be ready to take in patients, as well as how many of them will it be able to accommodate. He added that the authorities are “preparing it for this purpose”.
TODAY noted that when it visited Singapore Expo on Sunday, a number of contractors were seen at the premise preparing the exhibition halls. If that’s not all, crates of specialised flooring were also seen outside the halls.
A spokesperson from the Singapore Expo also said to TODAY that this is the very first time that the venue is being “repurposed”.
In order to prepare for the work, Singapore Expo and its convention wing, Max Atria, will be closed to the public from Tuesday (7 April), said Alvin Lim, the executive director of brand and customer experience at venue operator SingEx Holdings.
“As a community care facility, it will be a restricted area with secure entry points for on-site operational staff cleared for access,” he said in TODAY’s report.
He went on to state that Singapore Expo will also be enforcing “strict entry and work infection control measures and precautions”.
As of Sunday (5 April), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed 120 additional Covid-19 cases, bringing the total so far in the country to 1,309 cases.
This is the highest number of daily increase since Singapore saw its first case in January this year.